Petco Shares Tips to Keep Pets Happy and Safe During the Summer Months

May 19, 2015, 06:00 ET from Petco

SAN DIEGO, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As pet parents make plans for the coming summer months, Petco shares tips to help keep pets happy, healthy and safe during hot days filled with barbecues, outdoor activities and fun in the sun.

Beware of hot temperatures. Limit your dog's time outdoors when it's extremely hot or humid. When your dog is outside, make sure he has access to shade, shelter and fresh water. Dogs can get sunburned, so applying a dog sunscreen to your dog's ears, nose and anywhere else they have bare skin or thin fur is a good idea.

Keep your dog hydrated. Have fresh water available at all times. A good rule is to pack the same amount of cool water for a pet as yourself when you're taking part in outdoor activities. Invest in a portable or collapsible dog bowl that is easy to clean and stores flat for easy packing. If you're out in nature, don't allow your dog to drink lake or river water that may contain bacteria or parasites like Giardia.

Prepare for a road trip. If you're hitting the road with your dog this summer, ensure a fun trip for the whole family by pet-proofing the car with seat covers to minimize scratches and pet hair. Additionally, keep your pet safe and secure in a crate, booster seat or dog-specific harness that connects to your car's seatbelt.  

Never leave your dog in the car. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. An animal left in a hot car can sustain brain damage or even die in as little as 15 minutes. Cracking a window does little to relieve the heat on a hot summer day.

Hiking safety. Hiking with pets is a favorite activity for many people in the summer. However, it can be harmful if dogs overheat in the hot summer sun. Look for signs of a dog overheating – their tongue hangs from the side of the mouth and is weighted at the end, they are panting excessively and have trouble focusing their gaze on something. If a pet begins to overheat, place them in the shade immediately and pour cool water onto the pads of their feet first and then continue over other parts of their body. Placing booties on their paws will also help keep them safe on the rough terrain and prevent their paw pads from burning.

Keep ID tags current. Dogs spend more time outdoors during summer months than any other time of the year. This can lead to more lost pets, especially on the Fourth of July, when more pets are lost than any other day of the year. If your pet is sensitive to loud noises, keep them inside, and always keep your dog's ID tags up to date.

Beware of rattlesnakes. Warm summer weather calls both snakes and people out of hibernation. Outdoor enthusiasts may find themselves face to face with a less than welcome rattlesnake. However, unlike people, dogs may not have the know-how to avoid this venomous creature. While outside, especially in rural areas, keep dogs on a non-retractable leash, close by so they can be supervised. If a rattlesnake is spotted, calmly and slowly back away from the snake until you are no longer within striking distance and until the snake stops rattling. Then carefully leave the area.

For more information on keeping pets safe this summer visit: community.petco.com.

About Petco and the Petco Foundation
Celebrating 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,400 Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including more than 120 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop; 10 Pooch Hotel destinations for pet daycare, boarding and spa services; prescription services and pet supplies from the leading veterinary-operated pet product supplier, Drs. Foster & Smith; and petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $125 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.

Contact: Megan Oxford, megan.oxford@petco.com / (858) 453-7845 x3314

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